Mets Game 25: Win Over Braves

Mets 4 Braves 3

This game was a lot closer than it should’ve been.

The truth is, the Mets should have won this game by at least six or seven runs — maybe nine or ten.

You don’t like my “negative” take? Feel free to pick up your pom-poms and move on to another Mets blog. We’re keeping it real here.

When Livan Hernandez gives you a remarkably efficient 6 1/3 innings, your offense has runners in scoring position in each of the first four frames, and pounds Braves pitching for 11 hits and 5 walks over the course of the game, you should win big. Real big. But then, that might be presumptuous on my part. (I’ve been known to be that way.)

Instead, the Mets and Braves were neck and neck through eight innings, with the Mets up by one, then a Pony League team put on the Atlanta uniforms and took the field in the final frame. The kid in Chipper Jones’ jersey threw away a terrible bunt by Danny Murphy, the punk in Yunel Escobar’s uni didn’t cover second as Murphy took second on the overthrow, and some scrawny teeny bopper on the mound allowed Carlos Delgado to hit a 19-hopper through a drawn-in infield to plate two runners.

At the time, those two seemed like meaningless “insurance runs”, since the Mets had Frankie Rodriguez coming into the game to slam the door.

But when K-Rod allowed two hits and a walk, and Carlos Delgado dropped a routine pop fly, the Braves scored two runs and were suddenly back in the game — with men on first and third and career Mets killer Chipper Jones at the plate. Luckily, Jones lined out to right field to end the game — but it easily could have been a disaster of a loss.

Game Notes

A little surprising to see Livan leave the game in the seventh after giving up a single and a walk and the bottom of the Braves order coming to the plate. He had thrown only 74 pitches and seemed to have earned the right to work out of his own mess — he’d wiggled out of a few similar situations earlier in the game with ground ball double plays. But Jerry Manuel played it by the book, and brought in fireballer Bobby Parnell to get swings and misses. Parnell did strike out pinch-hitter Greg Norton, but gave up a run-scoring double to Martin Prado. The run was charged to Hernandez.

J.J. Putz threw 19 pitches in a scoreless 8th inning. He threw 20 in Tuesday’s game, and 70 total pitches in the first five days of this month. He had a similar workload just prior to blowing a save against the Marlins on April 29th.

Rodriguez also threw quite a few pitches — 28. He only threw 11, though, on Tuesday. But he’s only 7 tosses behind Putz for the month. Just sayin’.

During the SNY broadast, Keith Hernandez was harping on the fact that the Braves pitchers were continually throwing to the outside part of the plate. Keith seemed astounded by this strategy. I’m guessing he didn’t cover many games when Leo Mazzone was the Atlanta pitching coach — it was his prescribed modus operandi for, oh, about a decade and a half.

For the record, I’m not a fan of pounding the outside part of the plate either, and agree with Keith that pitchers today need to throw inside more often. But it shouldn’t be surprising that the Braves are trying to live off the outside part of the plate.

The Mets left 12 runners on base in this game.

Carlos Beltran hit in his 16th consecutive game, collected two safeties, and is back over .400.

David Wright also had two knocks, and somehow is back over .300. How does he do that? He’s the only guy I know who can “struggle” and be “in a slump” and still be right around .290 – .300.

The long, long, looooooooooong stroke of Ramon Castro was good enough for three hits and an RBI in this game. He’s 7 for his last 16, though I imagine you can attribute that to Jerry Manuel lighting a fire under him.

Next Mets Game

The Mets scamper back to Flushing for another quickie series, playing two games against the first-place Phillies. Johan Santana takes the mound against Chan Ho Park at 7:10 PM in a contest that the Mets should win with their eyes closed.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Andrew Vazzano May 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm
    Perez to close tomorrow.


    But still. I want to see it.

  2. gary s May 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm
    i haven’t seem these many flyballs or popups dropped since the mets of or lose castillo and delgado have to be ex mets in range, no hustle, no more reason to be on the team next year.i also thought beltran should have tagged up on wright’s fly to francouer in the top of the ninth.i know he has a good arm, but if beltran ran he scores..the throw bounced off the catcher..this team is so unagressive.still leaving way too many men on base.
  3. mic May 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm
    conspiracy theory: You knew there would be insurance runs…but bases loaded 2 in and 0 outs only for a weak fly then a double play to make it interesting?….or give a save opp to frankie…

    THEN he makes it MORE interesting BUT then closes out the victory….

    It sounds scripted.

  4. Eli From Brooklyn May 6, 2009 at 12:27 am
    I was not able to listen nor watch the game tonight but I got the recap from you, Joe. Good job and it made for a nice read. LOL on Loooong stroke of Ramon Castro and hopefully we’ll be able to take two from the Phillies now…

    Might go to the game tomorrow.
    -First time in Citi.


  5. isuzudude May 6, 2009 at 7:00 am
    If the Mets had lost this game they might as well have just boarded the plane heading back to NY and take a detour into the Atlantic Ocean. You might as well have just called off the rest of the season. As it is, it’s still a pretty embarassing way to win.

    Anyone else get a sinking feeling something bad was about to happen when Kelly Johnson got his 2-out single in the 9th? My girlfriend can testify that I did.

    Also kind of thought I had drifted off to sleep, seeing Chipper play so poorly against the Mets. The error in the 9th, the double play in the 3rd, and making the final out as the winning run. Then again, 37 is close to the retirement age in baseball.

    Removing Livan with a pitch count of 75 seems premature, but the indications that the Brave hitters were starting to lock in against Livan were evident in the 7th, as Kotchman lined out to Murphy, Francouer singled, and Schafer walked. Guarding a 1-run lead, I think Jerry was right to be cautious in that situation.

    However, I was mildly surprised Delgado was not pinch-run for in the top of the 9th after his 2-run single. Not that it mattered on the basepaths anyway, but Tatis or Reed would have given the Mets better wheels if it was needed, and we likely could have avoided the Badnews Bears routine with Delgado in the bottom of the 9th if Tatis were playing first. Not to mention Delgado’s got a chronically cranky hip, so he could use all the extra rest he can get. Maybe I’m just being over-analytical.

    By the way, is it Fran”coor” or Fran”ker”?

    I agree that the back end of the bullpen has been taxed over the past week, but hopefully they’ll get a day to relax today with Johan pitching (on extra rest). I know it’s the Phillies and so anything can happen, but with Johan on the mound for us and Chan Ho going for Philly, this is as much of a “gimme” game as there is. The Mets should make a statement by coming home and thumping the Phils soundly tonight. Transaltion: don’t be surprised if they lay a goose egg, or if the game gets rained out.

  6. sincekindergarten May 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm
    I didn’t see the game, but I did see the replay of Delgado’s miscue. One sarcastic thing must be said about CDel–he’s a giving person, in that just after he gave the Mets two insurance runs, he gave the Braves two runs to make it interesting. Gotta love that.
  7. Jim Bmore May 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm
    win with their eyes closed? just because your #1 is pitching vs a #5?..not true at all
    ie- santana not getting run support
    and the guy hasnt had a bad start in sooo long…come on metsies..big early season series
  8. jason purdy July 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm
    if anyone can get a video of the may 5th 2009 braves vs. mets game i will be willing to pay for it. it has me and my recently deceased father on screen and i would really love to have it.
  9. Eli from Brooklyn July 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm
    You should contact SNY. I hope they’d help you.